Vladimir Guerrero Jr. didn't win the AL MVP and Toronto Blue Jays fans are angry
After a heartbreaking end to the 2021 season, Toronto Blue Jays fans were hoping for one last hurrah with first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the running for the American League's most valuable player (MVP). The winner of the award was announced Thursday, but alas, no dice.
Still riding the high of seeing ace pitcher Robbie Ray awarded the AL Cy Young award, Jays fans had their hopes for another off-season celebration dashed when Vladdy (as fans know him) fell short of votes for the AL MVP to the two-way phenom pitcher/slugger, Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani was the unanimous winner, grabbing all 30 first-place votes from judges of the Baseball Writers' Association of America for the top score in the balloting.
✅ 46 HR (third in the league)— MLB (@MLB) November 19, 2021
✅ 100 RBI
✅ 26 SB
✅ 8 triples (tied for the league lead)
✅ 3.18 ERA
✅ 156 Ks
✅ Unanimous AL MVP
Shohei left no doubt. pic.twitter.com/oI35Mg0uYw
Vladdy Jr. scored a distant second, with a near-unanimous 29 second-place votes. The 22-year-old star outhit Shohei Ohtani in every category, leading the league with 48 homers and driving in 111 RBIs in a breakout season. Still, Ohtani's pitching prowess combined with his insane slugging skills pushed "Shotime" ahead of Vladdy.
The decision has some Jays fans and analysts disappointed and questioning the criteria for determining what makes a player the "most valuable" to their team.
Of all people, Buck Martinez convinced me Vladdy deserved MVP based on the word Valuable. Ohtani is unique and incredible, but did he add outstanding value to his team? 👎 https://t.co/edNkAf1qPt— Amberly McAteer (@amberlym) November 18, 2021
Vladdy helped bring the Blue Jays to within inches of a playoff spot, while Ohtani's Angels fell well short of the mark.
It's not even about "valuable" he was THE BEST player in the game this year + willing his team to competitiveness. Ohtani is a novelty act, an incredible one at that but a novelty at the end of the day; a good pitcher & a very good hitter but no discernible affect on his team.— The Proud Rebel (@the_proud_rebel) November 19, 2021
Others think things could have turned out differently if Vladdy stepped up for a few mound appearances.
If Vladdy Jr. pitched one inning this season he would’ve won the MVP.— SLAM CENTRAL STATION (@SlamCentralNYY) November 19, 2021
And the numbers really don't lie if you focus in on batting. Ohtani batted .257 this year with 46 homers, and 100 RBIs, compared to Vladdy's 48 dingers, .311 batting average, and 111 RBIs.
Honestly I think Vladdy deserves MVP. Nobody who hits below .270 should win MVP and he doesn't even have double digit wins on the mound. If Vladdy wanted to he could pitch just as well it's not even that hard.— kenny (@halosandwine) November 18, 2021
Vlad Jr. couldn't stand up to Ohtani's pitching record, which is being argued as the real difference-maker in his MVP win.
Ohtani logged a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts, striking out 156 batters. But some actually think Vladdy could pull this off if he tried, which sounds like a bit of a stretch.
Still, other fans were satisfied with the decision, acknowledging the exceptional rarity of a two-way talent in professional baseball.
Shohei obviously deserved the MVP, but the Jays should’ve let Vladdy pitch an inning in a blowout in hopes he could put up a zero just to give the writers something to think about.— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) November 19, 2021
Though Blue Jays fans didn't get to see a hometown player take home the AL MVP, the blue and white were well represented. Not only did Vladdy Jr. finish second in the running for votes, but Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien finished third with one second-place vote and 24 third-place votes.
Having two of the three best-ranked players in the American League is nothing to complain about.
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